Reflections on the Current Times

Please understand that the information expressed here are my personal feelings, based on research.They are not meant to be political in any way. I apologize upfront for the unusual length of this Blog.

On April 5, the Associated Press reported; “The US surgeon general offered some of the starkest warnings yet as he braced Americans for the worsening fallout from the new coronavirus, warning "this is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans' lives, quite frankly." The public was advised separately by the nation's infectious disease chief to "just buckle down" and that the virus probably won't be wiped out entirely this year, the AP reports. The number of people infected in the US has exceeded 300,000, with the death toll climbing past 8,400; more than 3,500 of those deaths are in the state of New York. Much of the country is under orders to stay home, and federal officials said they have seen signs that people are listening to the message about social distancing.

"This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it's not going to be localized," Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Fox News Sunday, adding that "it's going to be happening all over the country." Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CBS' Face the Nation that the coming week is "going to be shocking to some," but "that's what is going to happen before it turns around, so just buckle down." He said the rate of new cases will determine whether America is putting the worst behind it: "We’ve seen that in Italy." Indeed, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says deaths and ICU admissions are down slightly in his state but cautions that it's "too early to tell" what that means.

Personally, I am very saddened by what is being reported.Our Great Country has never dealt with anything like this before.We do need to keep everything in perspective and realize that we will recover from this.The recession of 2007-2008 was devastating and now it is history.We are a very resilient Country and our President and many Government Officials have been very upfront with all that is happening.We see them on television, at least once every day.

Fortunately mountains have been moved in record time.Many of our Military have been called up to Active Duty.Governor Andrew M. Cuomo pleaded for supplies for his overwhelmed hospitals and desperate health care workers. “Really, the only hope for a state at this point is the federal government’s capacity to deliver,” Mr. Cuomo said.Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Sunday that the Pentagon will deploy more than 1,100 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to New York City to help combat the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 9,000 Americans.

More than 3,500 of those deaths occurred in New York City where the Army Corps of Engineers converted the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center into what Esper told CNN will be the "largest hospital in the United States." Esper said most of the health care personnel deployed to New York City will serve in the converted center, which will have a 2,500-bed capacity. He said the Pentagon decided late Saturday to "deploy a few hundred of them to 11 New York City hospitals that are also seeing a deficiency when it comes to medical staff."

The Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort is docked in New York to assist with the crisis but is treating only a few dozen patients. Esper explained that the ship was being used to treat only trauma patients to ease the burden on the city's hospitals and keep non-COVID-19 patients from becoming infected. There are fewer trauma cases than usual amid the outbreak because more people are staying home.

California has two Navy Hospital Ships that are fully equipped and staffed.Other States are getting the assistance that they need as well.Some Governors have requested far more than they will need and others have returned supplies that they will not need.

My home Sate, Tennessee, has not been hit as hard as others.To give you some perspective, here are the latest statistics in TN.The Tennessee Department of Health confirmed there have been 3,633 confirmed coronavirus cases reported throughout the state as of Saturday, April 5.Of those cases, there have been 44 deaths, 295 recoveries, and 328 hospitalizations.We have over 7,000,000 people in TN.

Many people live in fear.The Clergy has been saying that we need to live by Faith, not Fear.F E A R means False Evidence Appearing Real. Many people are praying over this pandemic.At the same time, there are some charlatans that are “ preying” on people.Good people, like John Maxwell, offered 3 one hour and fifteen minute seminars on-line this past week.The subject was how to deal with this crisis and there was no cost at all.

Others are offering seminars, materials and podcasts on Social Media, all of them have a price attached to them. They are attempting to profit from our grief.If you do some research, you will discover that most of them have no formal training or experience.The fact is, none of us have ever experienced anything like this pandemic before.I wrote six of them an e-mall and only one responded.The response was much too vulgar to share with you.

Stores like Costco and Trader Joe’s have been limiting the number of people in their stores so that we are able to stay at least 6 feet apart.They sanitize each cart before it is given to you.They have not increased prices at all, however they do limit the amount of certain items that you may purchase.

K-VA-T stores, a privately owned company based in Abingdon, VA, operates 131 grocery stores.Many of them have pharmacies and fuel stations.My wife and I shop there often and it has been wonderful to see that they have not increased prices at all and they still have many items on sale.They are known for employing many young people and semi-retired folks and all of their Team have really stepped up to the challenge and risks associated with dealing with the public.

Another privately owned company, Harbor Freight, based in California, operates about 1000 stores nationwide.They are known for very low prices on high quality tools and other hardware products.They also deliver excellent service.Their Chairman and Co-Founder sent out a notice to all customers that brought tears to my eyes.Here is what it said, in an abridged version, on March 22, 2020:

Dear Harbor Freight Community,

As we’ve been following the news over the last few days, we’ve heard about the severe shortage of protective gear for hospitals, healthcare workers and first responders as the impact of COVID-19 is being felt across the country. America depends on these heroes every day and in the days ahead we will depend on them even more. At Harbor Freight, we want them to know that they can depend on us too.

So we’ve decided to donate our entire supply of the personal protective equipment items listed below to front line hospitals with 24 hour emergency rooms in the communities served by our stores.

- N95 Masks
- Face Shields
- 5 and 7 mil Nitrile Gloves

Although we certainly won’t have enough of these supplies to fill everyone’s needs, we’re going to donate everything we’ve got. We also recognize that there are so many other critically important people responding to this crisis and that there is need everywhere. We’ve chosen to focus our efforts on hospitals with a 24 hour emergency room with the hope that we can help as many people as possible right now.

Thank you and God Bless,
Eric Smidt
Owner and Founder
Harbor Freight Tools


There are many individuals that are serving in a plethora of ways.We really need to keep all First Responders, Medical Personnel, our Military and all those who deal with the public, during this tragic time, in our thoughts and prayers.

I close with a challenge to you.Please do whatever you can to reach out to someone else.A handwritten note, a phone call to a relative or friend that lives far from you, a random act of kindness to a neighbor, reading a book to a child, in person or on the internet.You can use FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom to see and feel a connection to others.Our Sunday school Class had a Zoom class yesterday, with 21 people on it.All of these services have free access to them.If you need help, please e-mail me and I will set up a Zoom call with you to help.Before we were asked to stay at home, I baked many banana breads, from scratch, with healthy ingredients and left them at the front door of people that we know in our community.It truly was a labor of love, while letting them know that we care.

PLEASE share what you do so that we can help others to get creative with their own ideas.If you have made it to this point, thank you very much.I sincerely do care about you, individually.My dear friend and mentor, Zig Ziglar, often said; “You can have anything you want in life, if you just help enough other people get what they want.”

God Bless you and may God Bless our World!

In the Spirit of Service,

Dave Gorden
Certified Speaking Professional
Member Speakers Hall of Fame
Legend of the Speaking Profession
President, National Speakers Association, 1999-2000
One of the Authors of Chicken Soup For the Adopted Soul